The Main Specs and Applications for Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7 and Cat8

Though there is a lot of talk about wireless and fiber optic connectivity these days, the business world still revolves around Ethernet cables. In most corporate offices, the PCs are connected via Ethernet cables to a central network hub or switch. The cables allow employees to communicate with one another on the network and to access files from servers.

Copper Is Still King

It’s true that copper wires cannot move data as fast as fiber optic cables, and take more work to install than wireless connections. But through the years Ethernet cables have become steadily faster and able to handle more and more bandwidth while remaining less costly than fiber. Also, they offer tighter cybersecurity and more control over access than Wi-Fi.

It is no wonder that most networking devices are still built with RJ-45 connectors. But Ethernet cabling can be confusing, considering all the cable categories that have been introduced over the past 20 years. To help you simplify your purchase decisions, we at ShowMeCables offer a summary of the main specifications and uses of the most popular categories: Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7 and Cat8.

Cat5e Cable


  • Bandwidth: 100 megahertz (MHz)
  • Maximum data rate: 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) at up to 100 meters (328 feet)
  • A big but affordable upgrade over the 10 to 100 megabits p
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